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Lemon Myrtle Swiss Roll

The Great British Bake Off is back on which makes me very happy, and this year I wanted to do something I didn’t get round to last year – join in the Great Bloggers’ Bake Off run by Jenny at Mummy Mishaps.

The idea is to bake something inspired by the challenges on that week’s show, whether copying a recipe done or coming up with something yourself. This week was Swiss rolls, Mary Berry’s cherry cake and miniature British classics.

As soon as I saw some of the contestants making coloured patterned Swiss rolls, I knew that’s what I wanted to try!

I’ve seen some of my favourite foodie bloggers making the cutest Swiss rolls using silicon templates like these:
cute Swiss roll silicon sheetsAnd what Minion fan wouldn’t love to eat these?!?
minnion-cake-rolls-cupcakepedia

Absolutely amazing, but I didn’t want to be overly ambitious as each separate colour you use adds to the preparation time (and my piping skills leave a lot to be desired!). You do the pattern first, one colour at at time, either freezing the batter, or cooking it for a very short time, to set it in place and stop it bleeding into the rest of the roll. You then pour the rest of the batter over the top and cook the whole sponge.

Patterned Swiss roll decided, but what about the flavour? I wanted to do something a bit different. When I saw my lovely blogger friend Blue’s creation inspired by her childhood memory of an Aussie honey roll with the twist of lavender, I remembered the Australian herbs and spices my wonderful hubby brought back from a work trip to Melbourne. Powdered lemon myrtle was the first one I pulled out and my decision was made.

You can learn more about lemon myrtle here and I’ve found it to buy in the UK here. It has the most amazingly strong lemon aroma and you really get the sense of it being a wild bush plant when you taste it in something. However, you can substitute it with lemongrass powder or lemon verbena for a similar more earthy lemon flavour.

I used my husband’s Swiss roll recipe converting his very easy to remember ‘3-3-3’ formula (3 dessert spoons of plain flour, 3 dessert spoons of sugar and 3 eggs) to grams. His Swiss rolls always turn out wonderfully light using just the whisked egg whites to make it fluffy; unfortunately mine didn’t. Whisking the egg whites a bit to make the batter for the pattern, waiting for that to freeze and then whisking the whites again to fold into the main batter didn’t work that well (and hubby wasn’t impressed!). Next time I do a patterned Swiss roll I’ll use self-raising flour to produce a more stable batter.

Great British Bake Off

LEMON MYRTLE SWISS ROLL

Prep time: 30 mins plus 15 mins freezer time to set your pattern
Cook time: 8-10 mins
Makes one roll

3 eggs
50g caster sugar
50g plain flour
1 tsp ground lemon myrtle
small amount of green food colouring gel

For the cream filling:
200ml double (or whipping) cream
1 tsp ground lemon myrtle
2 tsp caster sugar

Draw your leaf pattern on a piece of paper slightly smaller than your baking tray. Place it on your tray and cover with a piece of baking paper. (If the baking paper doesn’t stay flat, dab a little butter on the tray around your paper pattern and use it to stick the baking paper in place.)

Separate the eggs putting the yolks into a medium-sized mixing bowl and the whites into a bowl big enough to beat them (a metal one is supposedly better for beating egg whites).

Add the 50g of caster sugar to the egg yolks and beat by hand with a whisk until it’s turned a paler colour. Keep beating and add the flour a spoonful at a time and then the lemon myrtle.

Put 2 tablespoons of the egg and flour mix in a small bowl and add a very small amount of food colouring gel to get your required shade.

Using an electric beater, whisk the eggs whites until soft peaks have just started to form.

Add 2 tablespoons of the whisked egg whites to the sponge batter you put in the smaller bowl and mix together (you don’t need to worry about the whites collapsing). Keep adding egg white until you have a fairly runny mixture similar to the consistency of single cream.

Put in a small clean resealable bag and squeeze the mixture to a bottom corner. Snip the corner off (it needs to be very small!) and pipe your design onto your prepared tray using your pattern as a guide.
My template and my simpler piped leaves

Put your tray into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 175C.

Just before you take your tray out of the freezer, whip your remaining egg whites a little bit more until you just have firm peaks. Add about a third of the egg whites to the remaining sponge batter and thoroughly mix.

Take your tray out of the freezer.

Gently fold the rest of the egg whites into the sponge batter and pour the batter into your tray using a spatula to very gently cover your design without smudging it.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden brown.

Keeping the sponge on the baking paper, roll it up tightly while it’s still warm and leave to cool.
lemon myrtle

To make the cream filling, whip the double cream, lemon myrtle and sugar until stiff.

When the sponge has cooled, gently unwrap it and peel off the baking paper.

Trim the sides and spread the cream over the sponge (putting slightly more at the end you’ll start rolling it up and slightly less at the other).

Roll up the sponge as tightly as you can and trim the end just before you finish rolling. Chill in the fridge to firm up for at least an hour.

Great British Bake Off

What pattern would you try on a Swiss roll? Something for a birthday or Christmas perhaps?

To join in the Great Bloggers Bake Off or to see the other baking efforts, visit Mummy Mishaps.

gbbo-badgesmallI’m also linking up with Supergolden Bake’s #CookBlogShare party.

cookblogshare

 

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Spider web carrot and lentil soup

Growing up in Australia, I never remember doing anything for Halloween and it still surprises me how much of a deal it has become here in the UK. But it is a great excuse to let your imagination run free and add some fun to your meals, something that Nicholas is appreciating more and more.

I saw the idea for the olive spiders on Pinterest quite a while ago and loved how simple yet effective they are (I so adore Pinterest for getting the creative juices flowing!). And where there are spiders, there has to be spider webs, and ‘drawing’ a yogurt web on a bowl of soup is super easy.

I was originally thinking of making a butternut squash soup I regularly make in the colder months, but then I came across the lovely Blue’s recipe for a wonderfully thick and lightly spiced carrot and red lentil soup. It’s the perfect soup to continue my ‘crusade’ to add some spice to Nicholas’ palate!

I usually use homemade stock for soups, but if you use the freshest ingredients, you can actually get away with just using water instead of stock (add a bit more seasoning though).

SPIDER WEB CARROT AND LENTIL SOUP

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Makes 4 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
A pinch of chilli flakes
600g carrots, washed but not peeled, coarsely grated
1 onion, roughly chopped
140g red lentils
1 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock
125ml milk
Salt and pepper
Plain yoghurt to serve
Black kalamata olives to decorate

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the cumin, coriander and chilli flakes. After a minute or so, when you can smell the spices, add the chopped onion and carrot. Season to taste. Stir and let fry gently for a couple of minutes.

Add the hot stock, lentils and milk. Bring almost to the boil then drop the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and cooked. Check if you need to add more seasoning.

Puree the soup until smooth.

To serve, use a spoon to make a spiral of yogurt on top of each bowl of soup (or use a piping bag if you want to be more precise). Then make more yogurt lines starting in the centre and lightly dragging them to the edge to create a web-like pattern.

Decorate with olive spiders by using half an olive for the body and slices of the other olive half for legs.

How are you letting your creativity shine for Halloween?